Apple's iOS 6 will introduce a host of new features on Wednesday. (Photo : Apple)
Android has slowly gained popularity over the years, going from something considered geeky and open source to a chic, slick system spearheaded by the attractive Samsung Galaxy S3. It is now a legitimate competitor to Apple's iOS with the release of Jelly Bean. Apple, however, will be upping the competition this fall when it releases iOS 6. Here's a look at the two mobile interfaces and how they stack up against each other.
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In terms of app offerings, both the iOS and Android systems offer a ton of options. There are over 650,000 apps offered through Apple's app store. The Android app store boasts over 600,000 apps, and while they will run on tablets, there are more tablet-optimized apps through iOS, which makes the iPad experience a little more calibrated then Android tablets. But with the Google Nexus 7 release, and a strong initiative from Google, Nexus 7 optimized apps are appearing, so expect the Android tablet experience to get better.
When it comes out this fall, iOS 6 will do away with a couple of features that every iPhone and iPad user has come to know. Google Maps and Youtube will no longer be stock offerings, though expect a Youtube app to be released for the iOS. Instead of Google Maps, Apple will be introducing its own Apple Maps app. This may signal an aggressive move by Apple and could incite further competition between Google and Apple, something that will surely benefit users of both operating systems as they try to out develop each other.
Both the Jelly Bean and iOS 6 have voice assistants. Apple's Siri is better at grabbing trivia facts, while Google Now, the Android voice-assistant, delivers better responses in different languages. Google Now does offer a bit more depth, as it brings up what it thinks might be relevant to you along with the original query. Siri will be improved and more accurate in iOS 6 than she was in iOS 5.
Both operating systems are solid, and in the end it will probably come down to which company you feel more comfortable with. If you are tied into a Google account, Jelly Bean will offer you a more optimized experience, and if you are on Apple's iCloud, iOS 6 will deliver more options.